Tag Archives: fashion moments

2015 in Review

007It’s that time of year! I have already seen several posts from fellow genealogists and societies, and even some from family members. Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and everyone is looking forward to 2016. What new experiences are you anticipating? Many of these posts recommend setting goals (instead of resolutions). My father, a retired career coach, advocates making a few attainable goals and then sharing them with friends and family as a way to keep yourself accountable and on track. It doesn’t help to make impossible goals, a guaranteed set-up for inevitable failure.

Dear Mother, Love Daddy coverFor me, looking back, 2015 has seemed impossibly long and short at the same time. A veritable blur of genealogical activity! I am surprised to recall all the genealogy related events and projects I did accomplish. These are most of the items I can remember….

  • Published Dear Mother, Love Daddy
  • Completed my ProGen studies
  • Attended my first large genealogy conference (SCGS Jamboree)
  • Attended my first all day genealogy seminar (Sacramento Roots Cellar Spring Seminar)
  • Continued to post one WWII letter every single day (for the third year in a row)
  • Wrote over 20 Fashion Moments posts
  • Researched, transcribed and posted over 60 newspaper articles about the smallpox epidemic in the year 1900 in Indiana
  • Transcribed and posted over 70 postcards written to my 2X great aunt Lena Hackleman
  • Had two published articles in the Sacramento Roots Cellar Preserves newsletter
  • Appeared in two episodes of Discovering Your Past
  • Started a volunteer genealogy program at my local library branch
  • Presented my first genealogy lecture
  • Engaged 3-5 paying clients for the year
  • Recruited 3-5 relatives to DNA test
  • Scanned several hundred family slides taken by my grandparents, Roscoe & Gladys, during the 1960s-1970s
  • Reviewed four genealogy/family history related books
  • Wrote five online articles for Genealogists.com
  • Began publishing a periodic newsletter as well as monthly updates on the blog
  • Connected with and started some great working relationships with several genealogists around the country
  • Submitted preliminary application for the Mayflower Society

A few items that I wish I had accomplished (but after looking over the above list of things I did achieve, I don’t feel too badly):

  • Publish an article in a national or state level periodical. I keep getting hung up on the whole reasonably exhaustive search aspect of genealogy, and want to keep researching. I need to learn to feel more comfortable writing what I have now.
  • Find a genealogy/writing job which will fit into my teaching and personal writing schedules

Goals for 2016

  • To publish the second volume of WWII letters, currently titled So Solong, Love Daddy. This volume will cover the letters from October through December 1942. I am currently behind on this project. I had hoped to accomplish more during my December vacation. My son has been on vacation with me so I have chosen to spend more time hanging out with him instead of sitting for hours in front of the computer screen editing text. This time around, I have lost my team of editors and proof-readers. I will need to recruit some new help. My goal is to publish the book by Memorial Day, if not sooner.
  • One of my goals from last year that was not accomplished – to publish an article for a state level society or national genealogy periodical. I see this as a goal to work on after the book is published.
  • Seriously begin planning for certification! I want to have preliminary projects started/plotted before I go on the clock. I really have no more excuses at this point since I have completed both Boston University’s genealogy research certificate program and ProGen. I want to have a plan in place by the end of 2016.
  • Continue to work on my skills as a genealogy lecturer. I have two more presentations scheduled this spring; the next one in only three weeks.

Other odds and ends….

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyI want to continue writing Fashion Moments’ posts but I am moving away from the weekly format, perhaps to once a month. It has been hard at times to find material that I am interested in writing about. I would love more feedback from readers and suggestions for future posts so feel free to send me questions or photographs.

This year will likely see the end of the WWII letters. Over the next week, Roscoe will begin his journey home to the United States. He continued to serve through the end of the war, but his duties were stateside. One of his postings allowed Gladys and the boys to live with him. The remaining letters will jump ahead months and weeks at a time with the majority being written by Roscoe. Another large block of the letters were written by people other than Roscoe or Gladys, by people who served with Roscoe, like Dr. Edmund T. Lentz. I definitely feel that the letters are moving into a new phase for 2016.

Eugene B. Scofield (watermark)

Rev. Eugene B. Scofield

Looking ahead to after the WWII letters (I know it is very hard to believe!), I have an extensive collection of letters that were written between Gladys and David in the 1960s and 1970s. At that time, David was a young adult moving away to college, getting married and relocating to Massachusetts. These letters provide another fascinating glimpse into the world of the Yegerlehners during the mid-twentieth century. In addition, my collection of family memorabilia contains letters from the late 19th century. The Reverend Eugene B. Scofield, a brother to Lena Hackleman, was a traveling minister for the Christian Church in Indiana in the early years of his career. While he was away from home, he wrote many letters to his family.  So even though the WWII letters may be running out, I still have a lot of transcribing and preserving to do.

Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year! And may you find all your elusive ancestors in 2016!

© 2015-2016, Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/12/30/2015-in-review/

Fashion Moments – Jan Ernst Matzeliger

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to Jan Ernst Matzeliger.

“The fertile mind of Jan Ernst Matzeliger literally shod the world. Matzeliger invented a machine to mass produce shoes. It revolutionized the industry and transformed Lynn, Mass, into the shoe capital of the world. Before Matzeliger came along, the task of attaching the leather uppers to the sole was done by a costly and tedious hand process.” [1]

My own Massachusetts ancestors were heavily invested in the shoe trade. I have but to glance at a mid-nineteenth century census record to see just how much. One of the major industries in southeastern Massachusetts, especially in the area surrounding Brockton, was the shoe manufacturers. Albert Leonard and his wife Lucy were perfect examples. In 1860, Albert worked as a boot maker while Lucy was a boot fitter at a factory near their South Randolph (present day Holbrook) home. Their relatives and neighbors (who fill up the rest of the census page) worked in the shoe trade as well. They held jobs with titles such as boot fitter, heel maker, shoe fitter, and so on.

Leonard, Albert - 1860 census detail

Albert and Lucy Leonard, South Randolph, Mass., 1860 [2]

Jan Earnst Matzeliger

In the 1880s, the shoe industry changed because of Jan Ernst Matzeliger. A native of Dutch Guiana, he arrived in the United States in 1878. Settling in Lynn, Massachusetts, Matzeliger obtained a job at the Harney Brothers Shoe Company. Dismayed by the inefficiency of the shoe making process, he spent four years perfecting a machine that would take the place of human lasters. Previously, a skilled laster could complete 50 pairs of shoes in a ten-hour day. With Matzeliger’s invention, 150 to 700 pairs of shoes could be produced. The shoe industry experienced an economic boom and the cost of shoes were cut in half.

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Sadly, very little was written about Jan Ernst Matzeliger during his lifetime or in modern history books since he was a black immigrant. His father was a white engineer while his mother was a black slave. Initially an outsider in his adoptive hometown of Lynn, Matzeliger poured his soul into his inventions. He eventually contracted tuberculosis, and died at age 36, in 1889.

Jan_ernst_matzeliger

Jan Ernst Matzeliger (Image in the Public Domain from Wikipedia Commons)

Further Reading

Matzeliger applied for six patents in his lifetime. They can be found in the “U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patents, 1790-1909” database at Ancestry or by searching Google’s patent database. Follow the link to his first patent in 1883. The slideshow above shows the drawings from his 1883 patent.

Article on Jan Ernst Matzeliger on the Black Inventor Online Museum website.

Audio from episode 522 from Engines of Ingenuity, a radio program written and hosted by John Lienhard, and produced by Houston Public Media.

Find A Grave memorial for Jan Ernst Matzeliger.

Matzeliger’s 1889 will is available in Ancestry.com‘s “Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991.” The images of the will are below.

A rare article about Matzeliger in the newspaper The Colored American (Washington, D.C.), dated 14 November 1903 (p. 6, col. 6), states “…J.E. Matzeliger, who is said to be the pioneer in the art of attaching soles to shoes by machinery…”  The newspaper can be found on the Chronicling America website.

Sources

[1] “They Had A Dream,” The Fresno Bee (Fresno, California), 5 January 1969, p. 17-A, col. 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 1 November 2015).

[2] 1860 U.S. Census, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Randolph, P.O. South Randolph, p. 43 (penned), dwelling 750, family 970, Albert Leonard.

Images

Boots, 1860-1869. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no: 2009.300.3003a–d

Boots, 1890-1895. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no: 2009.300.4207a, b

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/11/01/fashion-moments-jan-ernst-matzeliger/

Fashion Moments – Feed Sack Fabric

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the feedsack, or flour sack, dress.

I was inspired to write this week’s post because of a piece which I read last week from the Kindness Blog titled Flower Sack Dresses from the Flour Mills (Historical Kindness). The original article was written in May 2015. The article contains some wonderful information about the history of the feedsack, or flour sack, dress as well as some great historical photographs. (Unfortunately, none of the photographs have source information so it is hard to tell whether they are in the public domain or whether the author has permission to use the images). The article prompted me look again at some of my family photographs from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Without being able to look at a directory of fabric patterns, it is hard to say whether or not a garment was made from a feedsack just by looking at a photograph. I had to put myself in my ancestor’s shoes, looking specifically at my more rural paternal ancestors.

Note: I can hardly imagine my maternal grandmother being in a situation where she would have worn a feedsack dress. She was a pampered only child who lived in suburban San Francisco in her youth and who later moved to New Jersey to attend teaching college. She had little exposure to farm life, despite spending a few years teaching at an Indian Reservation in the southwest in the 1930s before moving to Malaysia as a missionary.

The Yegerlehner family lived in rural Indiana on a fully functioning farm with livestock to feed. My great grandmother Lovina was a hardworking, frugal woman. I can imagine her using feedsack material for clothing or other household items, such as quilts. After my grandparents, Roscoe and Gladys, married in 1929, they lived in Clay County, while Roscoe continued to teach at rural schools. Gladys’ mother, Emma Foster, frequently visited the Yegerlehner farm, so even though she lived in Terre Haute, she had access to feedsack material. She also baked and sold pies, giving her a need for larger bags of flour. Both Lovina and Emma were quilters. I have inherited several quilts which were their handiwork. Below is one of my father’s baby quilts. How many of these scraps originally came from a cotton feed bag?

Quilt - Baby, detail (attributed to Emma Foster) #1

Baby quilt attributed to Emma Foster from the personal collection of the author

Feed Sack Fabric

Before the 1920s, goods like flour and animal feed were sold in cotton bags. Frugal housewives re-purposed the cotton for various household goods, like towels or children’s clothing. The cotton was plain, but could be bleached or dyed to change the color.

Uses for Cloth Flour Sacks, 1921

In 1924, Asa T. Bales of St. Louis, Missouri, patented his idea for packaging flour in dress quality gingham fabric. The George P. Plant Milling Company of St. Louis was the first company to print the fabric, and soon Gingham Girl Flour was marketing their product in colorful bags. Other flour companies quickly followed the trend.

Drawing for A.T. Bales patterned feed sack fabric

Gingham Flour sack ad

Gingham Girl Flour company ad from the 1930s.

During the depression of the 1930s and the war shortages of the 1940s, reusing the cotton material from these bags became a way of life for many Americans. The photograph below is from Clay City, Indiana, in the mid 1930s. A rural community even today, the majority of these children lived on farms. How many of these children do you suppose are wearing clothing made from a feed sack? [Note: This was my Uncle John’s class picture, the oldest of Roscoe and Gladys’ children. Can you find him?]

Clay City, c1935-1937 (Photograph from the private collection of Deborah Sweeney)

Clay City, c1935-1937 (Photograph from the private collection of the author)

Further Reading

A beautiful example of a feedsack dress from 1959 is owned by the National Museum of American History. The page contains a brief article of the dress’ historical background as well as a photograph of the dress.

Paper written by Margaret Powell titled From Feed Sack to Clothes Rack: The Use of Commodity Textile Bags in American Households from 1890-1960The author has a full bibliography of additional sources for information regarding the use and history of cloth bags.

U.S. Department of Agriculture pamphlet on Cotton Bags as Consumer Packages for Farm Products, 1933. Available for download from Internet Archive.

Feedsack Secrets: Fashion From Hard Times, by Gloria Nixon. I think I will be adding this one to my personal library soon!

Dating Fabrics – A Color Guide : 1800-1960, by Eileen Trestain.

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/10/25/fashion-moments-feed-sack-fabric/

Monthly Update – October

This time of year is always my busy season. However, the season is almost over and I can definitely see the end in the near future. I am starting to look towards my backlog of writing and genealogy projects. My first (and most major) project will be preparing the second volume of WWII letters for publication. I estimate that the second volume will be published in the late Winter or early Spring of 2016.

Dear Mother, Love Daddy coverDear Mother, Love Daddy

Book sales have been slow and steady over the last month. But of course, as the author, I would love to see more copies sold. On Amazon, the book has 8 five star reviews. If you have read the book, I encourage you to post a review. These help to increase the book’s ranking as well as its visibility by Amazon.

In late September, genealogist Gena Philibert-Ortega posted a review and a Q & A session with me on her blog. Please check out Gena’s blog after you have read the review and interview. As well as being an expert in newspaper research and women’s history, Gena also studies genealogy and social history using cook books.

I currently have a stock of books to sell. Please contact me through the link at the top of the website if you would like an autographed copy of the book. Copies are also available for sale on Amazon using the link on the sidebar.

Genealogy Program Why GenealogySacramento Library

My presentation Why Genealogy? at the Franklin branch of the Sacramento library in late September was wonderful. The audience was very receptive and they asked lots of great questions. Several attendees booked time with me the following weekend during my regular monthly genealogy appointments. As a result, I was overbooked!

At this point, I have volunteered to do two more presentations in the Winter/Spring of 2016. In January, I will present a lecture on the basics of genetic genealogy and integrating DNA with traditional genealogy research. My presentation in April will be about preserving and sharing documents with family members and for future generations.

If you wish to sign up for a free genealogy session with me, contact the Franklin branch of the library to book an appointment. My next session is this coming Saturday – October 24th.

Genealogy Roadshow - Dan & SueDiscovering Your Past

It has been a busy month behind the scenes for Dan and Sue. Between working on the research plan I helped Sue create in episode 2, and an amazing discovery on Sue’s part regarding her French Canadian roots, there will be lots of material to cover in episode 3. Let’s just say that after I watched the Tom Bergeron episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, I predicted that Sue and Tom would have some things in common in their ancestry. Sue wasn’t actively researching this side of her family since she was looking for her Noble family in Portsmouth, but after Dan and Sue participated in the Genealogy Roadshow in Providence, she became inspired to learn more about her French Canadian ancestry. At this point, I am not exactly sure when the next episode of Discovering Your Past will premiere, but in the meantime, feel free to catch up on episodes 1 & 2, if you haven’t already.

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyFashion Moments

My weekly Fashion Moments posts are going well. I am consistently receiving many views and great feedback from readers. There are now nineteen posts in this series which cover a range of topics from different types of sleeves and shirts to some well-known designers. I am always looking for new topics to write about so if you have a fashion question, please comment below or send me a private message via the contact form. Several questions have turned into blog posts at this point. Will your question be next?

To find previous Fashion Moment posts, click on the blog tab above and find the sub-tab titled Fashion Moments. I also have a board on Pinterest with links to all the past posts.

In case anyone is wondering, the photograph that I use in my Fashion Moments’ graphic is from my private collection. It is an ambrotype photograph. This type of image was popular between 1854 and 1865. I believe the photograph to be Averick Estelle (Kelley) Boden, my three times great grandmother. She was married in 1864 which would be consistent with both the type of photograph and the fashion she was wearing. I have another photograph of her taken in the late 1880s or 1890s, and even though there is a large time gap between the two photopgraphs, I am reasonably certain that the above photograph is Averick. She was a descendant of Mayflower passengers John Alden, Priscilla Mullins, Myles Standish and Richard Warren.

Personal Research

Since I  have been so busy at school this last month, I have not done much of my own research. I have been thoroughly enjoying the adventures of my friend Sue as she has made one amazing discovery after another.

Joseph & Cassandria, photograph provided by a long lost cousin, circa 1860s (If you are the owner of this photograph, please contact me so I may provide proper attribution.)

Joseph & Cassandra Lawhead, photograph provided by a long lost cousin (unknown), circa 1860s

The best part of my own research this month has been connecting with a distant cousin on the Lawhead side of my family. She still lives in the area of southwestern Indiana where my three times great grandmother, Cassandra V. (Harding) Lawhead, resided at the end of her life. My cousin was able to access the local newspapers and find Cassandra’s brief obituary.

My dad recently unearthed some more documents to add to the Yegerlehner WWII project. He found some of the missing letters! These particular letters were more meaningful so they had been pulled out of the collection. Some of the letters include the one my grandmother wrote from the hospital after my father was born, describing the events leading up to his birth, and a letter written by my grandfather to my father in honor of his first birthday in 1943.

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/10/19/monthly-update-october/

Fashion Moments – Bifurcated Skirt

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the bifurcated skirt, a cousin to the bloomer.

Bifurcated Skirt

Bifurcated skirts were different from bloomers although they served the same purpose, allowing women more freedom of movement during athletic endeavors such as bicycling or horseback riding. While bloomers looked like baggy pants which ended typically below the knee, bifurcated skirts were pants constructed to maintain the illusion that they were still a skirt. The terms bifurcated skirt and bloomer were often used interchangeably, especially during the 1890s, when both became popular.

Gallery

A rare cycling suit owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The front panel can be buttoned across the front to cover the leg split so the garment looks like a skirt, or it can be folded over and buttoned to allow the legs to be separated during cycling. The fullness in the back obscures the split between the legs.

Various patents were filed in the 1890s for bifurcated skirts. The illustrations below are a few among dozens. The patent holders were all women.

A cowgirl in Montana wears a bifurcated skirt while riding her horse.

Montana Girl

 

Further Reading

In an April 1892 article from the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. H. Augustus Wilson recommended for his patients with lateral curvature of the spine to continue horseback riding as a form of exercise. Because his female patients were no longer able to ride side saddle, he instructed them to continue riding astride while wearing bifurcated skirts. The article can be found in volume 18, no. 14, p. 409-412.

In the article “She Rides Like A Man” from the Indianapolis News, dated 29 March 1890, Mabel Jenness fought for the abolishment of the side saddle. She proposed that women should ride astride while wearing bifurcated skirts. If you have access to Pinterest and Newspaper.com, I have clipped the article.

A women’s tailoring book from 1897, Superlative Systems of Cutting Ladies’ Garments by Charles J. Stone, included several patterns for riding and cycling skirts. The book can be found at Internet Archive and is available for download.

Images

Cycling Suit, 1896-1898. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no.: 2009.300.532a–d

Various bifurcated skirt patent illustrations from the 1890s. These images came specifically from Ancestry.com’s database “U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patents, 1790-1909.

Montana Girl, c1909. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Reproduction no.: LC-USZ62-72483

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/10/18/fashion-moments-bifurcated-skirt/

Fashion Moments – Ebenezer Butterick

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to tailor and pattern maker, Ebenezer Butterick (1826-1903).

Ebenezer Butterick

Ebenezer Butterick was a tailor who lived in the western Massachusetts town of Sterling with his wife Ellen, a seamstress. The story begins in the winter of 1863 when Ellen was making a new dress for their young son. At that time, sewing patterns were sold in a single size and were mostly used as a guide. People had to increase or decrease the pattern’s size to suit their own individual needs. Mrs. Butterick commented to her husband that it would be so much easier if patterns came in graded sizes, and so the idea for the Butterick pattern company was born.

In the beginning, the Butterick company created patterns for men and boys. The early success of these graded patterns prompted the company to begin manufacturing patterns for women in 1866. The patterns became massively popular, especially for the middle and lower classes who could not afford to have custom-made clothing. Home sewers were now able to access the latest fashions from Paris with the convenience of receiving paper patterns in the mail (or at the local dry goods store).

Gallery

Fashion plates (below) from the November 1901 issue of The Delineator.

It is still possible to find vintage Butterick and Deltor patterns. I was fortunate to find these several years ago from the 1910s and 1920s.

Butterick

Vintage patterns from the author’s collecton

Further Reading

A more though and complete history of Ebenezer Butterick and his company can be found on the Butterick website.

Harvard University Library Open Collection Program, Women Working, 1800-1930, has several women’s magazines digitized including an issue of the Delineator (1901). The magazine began in the 1870s and featured Butterick’s patterns as well as the latest fashion advice. The Hathi Trust Digital Library gives a more thorough listing of existing digital copies of issues housed at Universities around the country. Issues date from the early 1900s through the 1930s.

An 1871 (Summer) Butterick pattern book on Internet Archive.

Not related to Butterick, I found an awesome website this week on how to date photographs from the University of Vermont. Not only does the website give dating advice for clothing and hair, but other items that might be found in photographs like buildings or cars are categorized as well.

Blog post from Diana Pemberton-Sikes titled How Ebenezer Butterick Changed the Face of Fashion on the website Fashion for Real Women.

Mabel Potter Daggett, “When the Delineator Was Young: The Story of the First Butterick Pattern and How it Multiplied,” Delineator, 76 (November 1910): 365-366. The article can be found online on Google books.

Several patents can be found for Butterick patterns in Ancestry.com‘s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patents, 1790-1909.

Delineator Butterick Advertisement

Advertisement from the Evening News (Ada, Oklahoma), 10 May 1909, p. 1. Image courtesy of Newspapers.com

Images

Quarterly Report of metropolitan fashions, Autumn 1891. Image from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, reproduction no. LC-DIG-pga-00425

E. Butterick & Co., quarterly report of New York Fashions, for Fall 1870. Image from the Library of congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, reproduction no. LC-DIG-pga-01506

Fashion plates from the November 1901 issue of the Delineator from the Harvard Univerity Library Open Collection.

Ellery Bicknell Crane, editor, Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County Massachusetts Memoirs with a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity (New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1907), Volume I-II, 300-301. Digital images courtesy of Ancestry.com.

Image of Ebenezer Butterick from the blog post by Diana Pemberton-Sikes. I could not find the original source of this photograph.

Butterick, Ebenezer - Obituary, 1903

Brooklyn Daily Times (Brooklyn, New York), 1 April 1903, p. 3, col. 4. Image courtesy of Newspapers.com

© 2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/10/04/fashion-moments-ebenezer-butterick/

Fashion Moments – Paul Poiret

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to fashion designer, Paul Poiret (1879-1944).

Paul Poiret

Paul PoiretEven though the name Paul Poiret may be unfamiliar to most, modern women have much to be thankful for because of this man. His clothing was fantastical and theatrical; fashion was elevated to a new level through his designs and creations. History credits him with various styles, including the hobble skirt, harem-style pantaloons, and lampshade shaped tunics. However, he is one of a handful of designers who helped to move women’s fashion away from heavily corseted clothing. He represented the new modern movement in fashion during the 1910s. In contrast to his contemporary Madeleine Vionnet (who cut her clothing on the bias), Paul Poiret loved straight lines and used rectangles throughout his designs. In the United States, Poiret became known as the “King of Fashion.”

He began his career by working briefly for both the House of Doucet and the House of Worth, the leading French fashion houses. He opened his own fashion house in 1904. He was a huge supporter of the Art Deco movement. Around 1910, he was influenced by the costumes of the Ballet Russe which were based upon Russian and Asian styles. This inspiration can be seen throughout his designs in the years to follow.

Gallery

A sample of Poiret’s fashions from 1910 through 1925. Many more examples of Poiret’s clothing can be found on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website.

Models wearing some of Poiret’s clothing, c1911-1914. These prints are from the Library of Congress.

Further Reading

The Metropolitan Museum of Art staged an exhibition of Poiret and his work in 2007. An overview of Paul Poiret and information from the exhibit can still be found online. A book titled Poiret by Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton was published to coincide with the exhibit.  A full sized coffee table book, it contains many photographic plates of Poiret’s designs.

More about Poiret can be found on the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, also from the Metropolitan Museum of Art website.

A biography of Paul Poiret can be found on the Head to Toe Fashion Art page. The page includes many photographs of Poiret throughout his life, as well as fashion designs, examples of his clothing, and his artwork.

A book of Poiret’s fashion plates from 1908 can be found at Internet Archive. Commentary about this book and its sequel in 1911 was published on the Smithsonian Libraries website.

The Boston Public Library’s Rare book department has more information on the Modernist movement in fashion (1900-1920) as well as many fashion plates from the period. While Poiret did not typically paint his own fashion plates, he employed many artists to do the paining for him. Georges Barbier was among the artists who illustrated Poiret’s designs.

An article from a fashion historian’s point of view – The Myth of Poiret as Debunked by 1906.

Fashion Plate collection from the Pratt Institute Library from the French periodical, La Gazette du Bon Ton.

Poiret Advertisement

An Advertisement for a Paul Poiret fashion show – Waco Morning News (Waco, Texas), 18 March 1917, p. 24

Images

Advertisement for a Paul Poiret fashion show, Waco Morning News (18 March 1917), clipping via Newspapers.com

Photographs of book Poiret by Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton taken by the author Deborah Sweeney from her personal copy of the book.

Photograph of Paul Poiret, c1913. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Reproduction no.: LC-USZ62-100840

Checked suit photograph, 1914. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Reproduction no.: LC-USZ62-56759

Grey suit photograph, 1911. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Reproduction no.: LC-USZ62-56679

Poiret Model – Gimbels, 1914. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Reproduction no.: LC-USZ62-85524

“Paris” robe, 1919. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no. 2005.207

Butard, 1912. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no. 2005.190a, b

Evening dress, 1910. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no. 2009.300.1289

Dress, 1925. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no. C.I.50.117

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/09/27/fashion-moments-paul-poiret/